49ers

Aqib Talib: Levi's Stadium turf 'was terrible' for Super Bowl

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Aqib Talib: Levi's Stadium turf 'was terrible' for Super Bowl

SANTA CLARA -- T.J. Ward slipped twice on the same play.

Blame that turf.

The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers to win the Super Bowl, and some players weren't happy with the field at Levi's Stadium.

"The footing on the field was terrible," Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib said. "San Fran has to play eight games on that field so they better do something to get it fixed. It was terrible."

The Super Bowl grass made by West Coast Turf was installed last month. It's a hybrid Bermuda 419 over-seeded with perennial rye, and it was grown on plastic sheeting.

The NFL used West Coast Turf sod for the first time since a few Super Bowls more than a decade ago. That's largely based on geography because West Coast operates out of California's Central Valley in Livingston.

Stadium workers had to pick up divots before the game after warmups and following the halftime show.

"I had to change my cleats," Super Bowl MVP Von Miller said. "It was a great field. We came out here (Saturday) and it was fast. As the game went on, I just needed a little more support. I was able to get the detachable (spikes) and real quick change them."

Ward fell down after intercepting Cam Newton's pass in the third quarter. He got up, started to return it, slipped again and fumbled. The Broncos recovered the ball.

"We didn't have any issues with the field," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. "Both teams played on the same field. As far as I'm concerned, for me to be able to blame the field is kind of a cop-out. The truth of the matter is we both played on the surface. The surface was outstanding."

In this video, posted to Twitter, Panthers left tackle Michael Oher appears to slide backwards as he blocks Broncos pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware:

 

New York City law enforcement members hold rally to support Kaepernick

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USATSI

New York City law enforcement members hold rally to support Kaepernick

NEW YORK — A former New York City police officer, whose claims of police corruption in the 1970s were chronicled in an Al Pacino movie, joined dozens of current and former officers Saturday at a rally in support of getting quarterback Colin Kaepernick a job in the National Football League.

The former San Francisco 49ers player became a controversial figure last year after he refused to stand for the national anthem in what he called a protest against oppression of people of color.

He opted out of his contract in March and became a free agent, but so far, no NFL teams have signed him for the upcoming season.

The gathering in Brooklyn featured about 75 mostly minority officers wearing black T-shirts reading "#imwithkap."

One exception was retired officer Frank Serpico, whose exploits were featured in the 1973 film, "Serpico."

He admitted not being a football fan, but said he felt it was important to support Kaepernick for his stance.

"He's trying to hold up this government up to our founding fathers," said the now 81-year-old Serpico.

Sgt. Edwin Raymond, who said he was heading to work after the rally, spoke of the need for racial healing in the country.

"Until racism in America is no longer taboo, we own up to it, we admit it, we understand it and then we do what we have to do to solve it, unfortunately we're going to have these issues," he said.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

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AP

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.